The difference between candidates rarely is as clear-cut as in Tiffin's mayoral race. We have Ken Gaietto, a well-liked newcomer to politics, and first-term city councilman Aaron Montz, who has been involved in local politics long enough to step on a few toes.
The differences go deeper. Even after winning the Democratic nomination, Gaietto hasn't attended city council meetings, committee meetings and a public forum. Montz, as Second Ward councilman, has. Therefore, asked about city finances during interviews with The A-T editorial board, Gaietto was taken aback by the potential budget shortfall next year; Montz, his Republican opponent, knew of the projected deficit from council meetings.
Gaietto isn't fully versed on issues to be confronted soon by city government, and admits it. Montz has a grasp on those issues, and readily shares his plans to address them.
Of course, no one person has all the answers; that's humanly impossible. And that points to a concern that voters must consider. Gaietto could be brought up to date on the challenges that lie ahead. But new, unforeseen issues are likely to arise in the meantime - especially at a time when public policy at the state and federal levels are subject to referendum votes and Supreme Court decisions. A 9-percent budget shortfall is predicted for 2012 as it is, meaning this is no time for on-the-job training.
Most voters know which man they'd want to have with them when designing, stocking and opening a craft-brew pub. And which one they'd want to help craft the five-year business plan - and adjust for a changing economic climate.
Business and local government experience, and timing, make Montz the better choice.